The party’s over; it’s time for everyone to go home

From deflated to elated: the expectations of this past week’s triumphs were realized.

A view of the Olympic Cauldron before it was extinguished after the closing ceremonies. There was lineup more than an hour long to take a photo from the viewing platform

Submitted by Mark Reynolds

From deflated to elated: the expectations of this past week’s triumphs were realized.

In a way, Canada did “Own the Podium” by winning the most gold medals of any host country in the history of the Olympic Games.

Of course, the biggest triumph of all was Canada’s gold medal over those other guys. The outpouring of unbridled national pride was truly moving — and noisy. People gathered anywhere there was a television — some even peering through the windows of restaurants and coffee shops already overflowing with hockey-crazed patrons. Then it happened — Gold!

A red wave of jersey-covered, flag-waving fans surged into the streets. Car horns were honking for hours as vehicles loaded to the rafters with screaming fans drove down every street of the city and outlying communities. I headed for the hills somewhere between the end of the hockey game and the start of the closing ceremonies. The last stop of my Olympic experience was to view the Olympic Cauldron before it was extinguished later that evening. There was lineup more than an hour long to take a photo from the viewing platform, but I managed to snap a couple by holding my camera above the fence line. Game over – no gold medal for me, but almost as good were the strangers on the street who thanked me for my contribution. One thing is for sure, if I never see another porta-potty it will be too soon.

Speaking of gold medals, did you know that no two medals were exactly the same? They were designed by native artisans to depict our Canadian community. Five native drawings for the five Olympic rings were developed and made into a single pattern. As each medal was cast they were imprinted by a section of this original drawing. Recipients of these medals also received a scarf with the complete drawing on it so they can match up the pattern on their medal with the applicable section.

Another item that was as rare as gold were those red mittens. Before the Olympics started you could buy any amount of Olympic clothing and souvenirs from your local Bay or Zellers. I tried one more run at the local Bay store to see if I could buy a couple pair of red mittens for an out-of-country friend. No luck. While chatting with the clerk, she said The Bay gets several letters a day with an enclosed cheque requesting the almost extinct red mittens. What a marketing windfall of these Games.

The closing ceremonies were a hoot. Beavers and flying moose; blow up Mounties and huge wooden hockey players and I knew about it all before it happened. My “confidentiality contract” wouldn’t allow me to spill the beans so the best I could do was to watch the ceremonies on television and “predict” what was coming next to my captivated family.

Canada learned a new word: Zorb. These giant glowing transparent spheres will be a prominent fixture at the Sochi 2014 games and signify the Sochi Universe. Each member of the audience received their own Zorb snow globe. My big souvenir was the purchase of a Russian ball cap with its cool red scrolling on the brim.

So thanks for letting me share my Olympic experiences with you. As the throngs of people in their euphoria, party into the night here in Vancouver, I will gladly sip into my comfy bed and sleep for a week. Cheers!

Mark Reynolds is a former Ponoka resident living in Vancouver. He was a volunteer with the Olympic Winter Games and filed regular reports for the Ponoka News.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Ice racing at Mulhurst Bay at Pigeon Lake

Results of the ice racing event at Pigeon Lake

Maskwacis RCMP lay charges from home invasion

Four charged in alleged invasion using knives and gun on Samson Cree Nation - three injured

UPDATE: Highway 2 lanes were closed due to milk truck fire near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Ponoka Airport taxiway improvement costs overrun

The $328,000 project increased to $359,000, gravel cited as main reason for the increase

Ponoka County council looks at how it sees collaboration

County wants separate negotiations with Ponoka, Rimbey

WATCH: Ponoka residents enjoy first skate on ice path

A community initiative helped create a skate path for families in Ponoka.

Suspected Toronto serial killer targeting gay community arrested

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page, to be inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Canadian band to get top honours at 2018 JUNO Awards

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Court application halts release of bread price-fixing documents

Bread price-fixing documents won’t be unsealed Thursday, Loblaw says

Pharrell and N.E.R.D to headline NBA All-Star halftime show

11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip hop-rock band N.E.R.D. will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles

Heritage Minister wants zero tolerance for harassment in entertainment industry

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly had two meetings to discuss harassment in the film, TV and theatre worlds

Most Read